Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Takeaways from Buccaneers vs. Saints

A few notes from the Buccaneers' Week 14 loss to the Saints.

Photos from Buccaneers vs. Saints at Raymond James Stadium.

1. Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy toughed it out.
Prior to Sunday's game, it was unclear whether or not Gerald McCoy or Lavonte David would play. Both players missed practice time during the week with injuries, with McCoy suffering from a hand injury and David slowed by an ankle injury. Both players did play and, though both were shaken up in the first half, both played the entire game. David played particularly well, finishing with 13 tackles, five more than any other Buccaneer defender. 

2. The Saints play Jameis Winston well.
Sunday was the second time that Winston has finished with less than 200 passing yards in a game this season; he picked up 182 in Tampa Bay's Week 14 loss. In two games against the Saints, Winston averaged just 195 passing yards per game. If there is a bright spot, though, it's been Winston's ability to protect the football. He has two touchdowns and no interceptions against New Orleans this season.

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3.  The Bucs can rely on Doug Martin.**
Martin didn't replicate some of the explosive games he's earned this season, but still finished with nearly 100 yards. He carried the ball 11 times for 81 yards, an average of 7.4 yards per carry. Martin also scored a touchdown as he chases Adrian Peterson for the NFL's rushing title. 

4. Bruce Carter helped fill the void.
Carter stepped into a starting role on Sunday with Kwon Alexander serving a four-game suspension. Although Head Coach Lovie Smith wouldn't say whether any of his players performed well given the final score, Carter's numbers indicate that he had a productive game. He finished with eight tackles, the second-most of any Buccaneer, had one sack and two tackles for losses. It was Carter's first start this season.

5. Charles Sims had an impressive day catching passes.
It's not common to see a running back as a team's leading receiver, but Sims did just that against the Saints. He caught six passes, twice as many as any Buccaneer, and led the team in receiving yards with 64. Sims had a long of 14 and averaged 10.7 yards per catch. Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins both hauled in three passes for a combined 70 yards.

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